Distribution of dry matter and mineral nutrients in tubers of two cultivars of Dioscorea alata L.

T.U. Ferguson, P.H. Haynes, J.A. Spence


The distribution of dry matter, energy, N, P, Ca, K, Mg and crude protein were examined in the pulp and peel of two cultivars ('White Lisbon' and 'Oriental') of D. alata L. Positive physiological gradients in nutrient concentrations were observed. The concentrations of dry matter energy, N, P, Ca, Mg and crude protein decreased from head to tail end of tubers; K was the only determinant to increase in concentration from head to tail end of tubers. The concentrations of K and Ca were higher while those of dry matter and N were lower in the peel than in the pulp. The pulp and peel of bulbils were higher in N, P and K and lower in Ca than the pulp and peel of whole tubers of similar size. Crude protein content on a dry weight basis decreased from head to tail end of tubers and was higher in the peel.

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